BANYAN TREE HOTELS AND RESORTS said it planned to open the Banyan Tree Residences Mayakoba on the southeast stretch of the Riviera Maya in early 2009. The property, a mix of 132 hotel rooms (Banyan Tree Mayakoba) and 50 residences, will be developed by Spain-based OHL. Located 10 minutes from Playa del Carmen, the resort portion will feature a Thai-inspired restaurant, a Banyan Tree Spa and a private beach club. Property owners will have access to resort amenities, and hotel guests and villa owners will have access to El Camaleon, a Greg Norman-designed championship golf course that hosts the PGA Tour's annual Mayakoba Golf Classic. For more info, visit www.banyantreemayakoba.com.
MEXICAN RESORT DEVELOPER Ernesto Coppel and Ritz-Carlton broke ground on a mixed-use luxury resort community on Los Cabos that will include a 200-room Ritz-Carlton resort and 200 Ritz-Carlton residences. The hotel is scheduled to open in 2011. Situated on the southernmost tip of the Baja Peninsula in Los Cabos, the $1.5 billion Quivara Los Cabos development will sit on 1,850 acres and feature three miles of beachfront. The resort community will also include two Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses and an existing Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Holistic Retreat and Spa.
AZUL HOTELS BY KARISMA and Germany-based tour operator TUI AG joined forces to develop the Azul Sensatori Hotel in the Riviera Maya. The resort, the first Sensatori resort in the Americas, is scheduled to open in October. As with other Azul Hotels by Karisma, the Azul Sensatori will be marketed as a "Gourmet Inclusive" property, focusing on dining and activities geared to families and couples. Bookings are being accepted at (888) 280-8810 or at www.azulhotel.com.
THE PORT OF COSTA MAYA will reopen in July, a little less than one year after being severely damaged by Hurricane Dean in August 2007. When it reopens, the port will have two fully functional berthing spaces; a third berthing space is expected to reopen in November. Port officials said Costa Maya would be able to accommodate the industry's newest and largest ships, including Royal Caribbean's 5,400-passenger Genesis vessels, which are set to debut in 2009. Port officials said all of Costa Maya's former cruise lines, including Cunard, Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Windstar, have agreed to return. Port officials said Costa Maya would reopen with enhanced facilities and excursions, including a new zip-line tour called BioMaya Bacalar. The fishing village of Mahahual, which was virtually destroyed by the hurricane, has also been restored with a new boardwalk, restaurants, beach homes and small hotels.
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